What Is Silver Ion Antimicrobial Technology?
Silver ion antimicrobial technology is a silver-based active ingredient that can be incorporated into polymers, coatings, textiles and more to offer continuous product protection against bacterial growth.
Silver has long been used as an antimicrobial agent, at least since Hippocrates first described silver’s antimicrobial properties in 400 B.C., but it wasn’t until 1972 that scientists understood how silver works.
Small amounts of silver disrupt bacteria’s metabolism by preventing it from converting nutrients into energy, which inhibits bacteria survival, reproduction and colonization.
Built-In Silver Technology vs. Residual Disinfectants
Everyday we are surrounded by microorganisms including bacteria. Practically everything humans or animals touch – kitchen counters, bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, floors or medical equipment – can potentially be harboring bacteria like Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause severe illness once in contact with the human body.
Established criteria says that to be safe for humans, microbial flora on high-touch surfaces must not exceed 100 colony-forming units (CFU)/100cm2 potential pathogens and 250 CFU/100cm2 total microbial colony counts.
U.S. Army researchers found that harsh disinfectants must be used every two hours to keep ICU hospital bed rails below those levels of disease-causing bacteria, including MRSA and VRE, two antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The researchers’ primary conclusion: Hospital-approved disinfectants can quickly reduce bacteria counts to safe levels, but the bacteria rebound quickly above 250 CFU/100cm2, and each bed rail must be re-disinfected every 120 minutes to maintain continuous, safe protection.
Even with the promise of continuous disinfection, it is not reasonable for all surfaces around us to be cleaned every two hours. The ability to provide continual microbial reduction on surfaces can be accomplished using built-in antimicrobial silver technology.
Microban® Silver Ion Antimicrobial Technologies: SilverShield®
Microban® silver ion antimicrobial technologies (SilverShield®) are largely based on silver phosphate glass active ingredients. Each technology is registered for use in the US (EPA) and notified with the EU (BPR).
SilverShield® technologies are safe to use in a variety of applications including those that come in contact with food. Their small, uniquely shaped particles are designed to release silver ions faster than other silver ion antimicrobial technologies. Even though the particles are small, they are still too large to be considered a nanotechnology.
Typical applications for Microban® silver technologies include:
The Benefits of Silver Ion Antimicrobial Technology
Our innovative SilverShield® Series takes the proven antimicrobial effectiveness of silver a huge step forward. Because of its unique geometry and highly efficient release mechanism, SilverShield® works continuously to inhibit the growth of bacteria on a surface while maintaining the durability and integrity of a material.
- Proven efficacy: Reduces up to 99.9% of Salmonella enterica, E. coli, MRSA and VRE in 2 hours at room temperature, vs. up to 24 hours for competitor products
- Active 24/7: The silver ion active ingredient in SilverShield® is constantly presented on the surface of a treated product, ready to be released 24/7
- Added level of protection: Complements and helps to extend the effectiveness of standard chemical disinfecting routines used in medical settings, homes, and public spaces
- Durable: Remains effective even if a treated object is nicked or scratched
- Non-leaching: Stays inert until it comes into contact with bacteria, when it releases the antimicrobial silver – just enough to inhibit each bacterium's metabolism and prevent reproduction. The technology does not wash off, wear away or leach out of the product's surface
- Multiple modes of action: The accuracy of SilverShield® makes it a weapon in the ongoing battle against harmful microbes, particularly antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Microban® silver technology is suitable for materials such as polymers, coatings, ceramics, and more. Integration is simple and seamless and does not disrupt existing manufacturing processes.
Our engineers develop and test customized formulations of antimicrobial silver for each individual product. These custom formulations are tested with your own materials both for antimicrobial effectiveness and to ensure that our silver technology will not degrade or decrease the aesthetics or function of any part of your product.
Microban® will work with you to ensure that the solution we deliver fits the desired antimicrobial performance criteria. In addition, our global network of technical specialists is available to address processing issues if they arise, while our customer service specialists are experienced in export/import, shipping and customers clearance to ensure timely delivery of our antimicrobial products to the manufacturing site of your choice.
Innovation Serving Unmet Needs
No matter what material you're seeking to treat, we are here to explore your specific application criteria and will create the customized solution that aligns with your specific vision and business.
Our product portfolio is one of the broadest in the industry – with over 25 technology platforms and over 100 unique proven solutions to cover the needs of partners and prospects across commercial, consumer, and healthcare spaces.
When you work with Microban®, our best in class Research & Development team can deliver tailored solutions for any application or customer need for which we do not have a ready and proven solution.
We value our partners all around the world and we are committed to offering innovations that serve unmet needs.